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Of the traditional tourist markets for the Maldives, France registered the highest rate of increase in arrival figures during the 11 months January to November this year compared to arrivals for the same period last year.

With about 122% growth to end November this year compared to 2005, France has a share of 7.2% of total arrivals to the Maldives.
Of the top 5 traditional markets Japan also registered healthy growth of about 76% January to November this year compared to the same period in 2005. Japanese tourists formed about 7% of total arrivals to the Maldives this year.
The leading market for the Maldives, Italy with 20% of all arrivals, registered 78% growth for the period this year compared to January to November 2005, and the second highest performer, the UK with 18% share, had a growth of 25 % during the periods under comparison.
The other important markets Germany (12% of arrivals), China (6% of arrivals), Russia (3.5% of arrivals), also registered positive growth to end November this year.

The Maldives Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has offered 833 thousand more shares to the public, under a second round of public offering.

Shares are being sold through the branches of the Bank of Maldives (BML) in Male' and the atolls until 1:30 pm on the 15th of January 2007.

Media reports said that there was keen interest from the public in the shares and that there were long queues at BML branches.

Reports quoting the MTDC said this would be the final offering of shares at Rf100.

Madivaru Holdings will build a regional airport together with a 200 bed resort on the island of Madivaru in Lhaviyani Atoll.

The island has been leased to Madivaru Holdings for 30 years under agreement reached between the company, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Defence.The lease rental is 13.5 million Rufiyaa, media reports said.

Madivaru Holdings was formed by the government with private sector partners in May this year to undertake the development of Madivaru.

The leases of islands developed as tourists resorts could be increased to not less than 50 years, Finance Minister Qasim Ibrahim has revealed.

Presenting the estimated government budget for 2007, the Minister also revealed that as fee imposed for such extension of lease, the lease rents paid to the government would be raised.

Mr. Qasim Ibrahim also said, the several measures his Ministry was taking to increase government revenue, investors in tourism would derive greater confidence and that investment volumes would rise.


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